Up Close: 1963 Mustang II Prototype
A Pair of Mustang Sleuths Get a Rare Look at the Original Prototype
The prototype appears longer than a production ’65 Mustang, and it is—by five inches, although the wheel base dimensions are the same. The gauges look “space age,” including the non-functioning 0-120 MPH speedometer. The white exterior paint and light blue stripes are like Cindy Crawford—beginning to show their age but still looking good.
We noticed that the original steering wheel has been replaced with one from a ’65-’66 Mustang and the pop-off Mustang II gas cap had also been substituted with a plain cap. The Mustang II Pony emblems on the front fenders had also been removed along with the “F O R D” letters on the hood. No one knows what happened to them. Adam and Mark discussed various methods of duplicating replacements to match what was original and have them installed in time for the next viewing.
Adam was planning to exhibit the Mustang II at the Detroit Historical Museum beginning in November and on through September 2013, just in time to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. He hopes to show it as it appeared in October 1963.
While inside the museum warehouse, I don’t think we ever noticed that we were surrounded by other rare and valuable automobiles until we began our exit. The museum collection totals 75, and all were stored in clear plastic pressurized cocoons. Afterwards while standing in the parking lot outside the warehouse, Mark and I could not believe what we’d just experienced. I think Adam had fun as well. And if the car battery had not been dead, I’m sure Mark and I would have tried to persuade Adam to let us take his prized concept car out for a spin.
A Second Mustang II?
Jim Westervelt mentioned that while working for Ford’s carburetor department he observed a second Mustang II across the street from the Tech Center. It was a complete car but without an engine or transmission. The exterior paint and the interior were identical to the one that exists today, but he never saw it operational. He remembers it having the wheels, but could not recall if it had a removable hardtop or not. Does this twin still exist? While there are reports of other Mustang IIs in existence, none have been positively confirmed as original Ford products.
While the Mustang II was on display at the 2012 Detroit Autorama, Gary Gumushian approached the museum staff with an interesting story. Gary’s father worked in the Ford marketing department that inherited the Mustang I and II prototypes. Mr. Gumushian drove both around town, and Gary fondly remembered being dropped off at grade school in the Mustang II.
When asked if duplicate cars were made, he recalled a pair of Mustang Is, one for show and another for testing. The test vehicle was in an accident and most likely scrapped, but Gary wasn’t sure. He didn’t remember a second Mustang II.
Gary returned to the show the following day to say he’d pondered this question all night and was certain there was only one Mustang II.